Best Golf Rangefinder – The Best Way To Drop Strokes In 2018
The Best Golf Rangefinder
- 1 The Best Golf Rangefinder
- 2 Best Golf Rangefinders
- 2.1 Best Golf Rangefinder – First Place!
- 2.2 Bushnell Pro X2 – Review
- 2.2.1 Overview
- 2.2.2 Key Features
- 2.2.3 The Most Durable Best Golf Rangefinder To Date
- 2.2.4 In Depth About Dual Display Technology (DDT)
- 2.2.5 In Depth About Pinseeker JOLT Technology
- 2.2.6 In Depth About Slope Compensation Technology
- 2.2.7 In Depth About Slope Switch Technology
- 2.2.8 Specs
- 2.2.9 Performance
- 2.2.10 Usability
- 2.2.11 Quality
- 2.2.12 Accuracy
- 2.2.13 Price
- 2.2.14 Conclusion
- 2.3 Best Golf Rangefinder – Best Value For Money
- 2.4 Bushnell Tour V4 Golf Laser Rangefinder With JOLT & Slope – Review
- 2.4.1 Features
- 2.4.2 What’s In The Box?
- 2.4.3 Slope
- 2.4.4 So, Is The Tour V4 The Best Golf Rangefinder For The Money?
- 2.4.5 Why Should You Buy It?
- 2.4.6 Why You Maybe Shouldn’t Buy It?
- 2.4.7 Bushnell Tour V3 Vs Tour V4
- 2.4.8 Bushnell’s Explanation Video
- 2.4.9 How To Use It
- 2.4.10 Pinseeker Feature & How It Works
- 2.4.11 Slope Feature & How It Works
- 2.4.12 Battery Life
- 2.4.13 Using It In Tournaments, Is It Legal?
- 2.4.14 So, Should You Purchase It?
- 2.5 Best Golf Rangefinder – New Arrival
- 2.6 Precision Pro NX7 Laser Rangefinder – Review
- 2.7 Best Golf Rangefinder – Budget/For The Money
- 2.8 TecTecTec VPRO500 Review
- 2.9 Honorable Mention: Bushnell V3 With Jolt
- 2.9.1 Features
- 2.9.2 So, Is The V3 The Best Golf Rangefinder For The Money?
- 2.9.3 Why Should You Buy It?
- 2.9.4 Why You May Want To Reconsider
- 2.9.5 How To Use It
- 2.9.6 Pinseeker Technology, How Does It Work?
- 2.9.7 How Does The Slope Feature Work Exactly?
- 2.9.8 Battery Life
- 2.9.9 Is The Tour V3 Tournament Legal?
- 2.9.10 So, Should You Consider Purchasing It?
- 2.10 Best Overall Rangefinder Of 2016
- 2.11 Bushnell Pro X7 Golf Laser Rangefinder With JOLT Technology
- 2.11.1 First Impressions
- 2.11.2 Features
- 2.11.3 Feature By Feature Review
- 2.11.4 Accurate To .1 Yards Within A 125 Yard Range
- 2.11.5 Magnification, Up To 7X
- 2.11.6 Range
- 2.11.7 Pinseeker
- 2.11.8 Waterproof
- 2.11.9 E.S.P
- 2.11.10 Vivid Display Technology
- 2.11.11 Used By The Professionals
- 2.11.12 Sturdy & Durable
- 2.11.13 Using The Bushnell Pro X7
- 2.11.14 Challenges
- 2.11.15 Overall Summary
- 2.11.16 To Conclude – Do I Love It?
- 2.12 Nikon Coolshot 20 Review
- 2.13 Rangefinder Buyer’s Guide & A Little History
- 2.14 Golf Before Rangefinders
- 2.15 Laser Rangefinders
- 2.16 What Is A Rangefinder?
- 2.17 Should You Use A Rangefinder?
- 2.18 When You Shouldn’t Be Using A Best Golf Rangefinder
- 2.19 Don’t Courses Provide You With Distances Already?
- 2.20 I Can’t See PGA Tour Professionals Using Them, So Why Do I Need To Use One?
- 2.21 Manufacturers Of Golf Rangefinders
- 2.22 Receiving The Most From Your Best Golf Rangefinder
- 2.23 My Suggestions For Improving Laser Rangefinders
- 2.24 History & Legal Rules Of Rangefinders
- 2.25 History Of Rangefinders In Golf
- 2.26 Is It Legal To Use The Best Golf Rangefinder During A Round?
- 2.27 Buying The Best Golf Rangefinder
- 2.28 Which Rangefinder Should I Get, Laser or GPS?
- 2.29 What Are The Negatives Of A Laser Rangefinder?
- 2.30 Do I Need A Device With Slope Technology?
- 2.31 This Will Be My First Rangefinder, What Features Should I Be Looking At Before Making A Decision?
- 2.32 Final Thoughts
You can be confident in your distance and your swing in 2018 with the best golf rangefinder on the market.
There are a huge number of golf gadgets around these days that promise you to increase the straightness of your drives, lower your final score and make you the envy of all your friends. Even one of the best golf rangefinders won’t help you to straighten your shot from the tee, but it is an essential item for anyone who is wanting their ball to land perfectly on target.
Because, how can you actually hit your target perfectly without knowing the exact range it is away from you?
I have put together a post that perfectly brings together and allow you to see the best golf rangefinder in 2018, along with tips to help you make an informed decision.
Best Golf Rangefinders
After doing extensive research into which is the best golf rangefinder available on the market today, I can safely say that the best golf rangefinders are:
- Bushnell V4 Laser Rangefinder with Jolt – Best Value Rangefinder
- Bushnell Pro X2 – Best Overall Rangefinder With Included Scope
- Precision Pro NX7 Rangefinder – Best New Rangefinder
- TecTecTec PRO500 Rangefinder – Best Budget Rangefinder
When you click the links above it will take you down to the individual reviews of the rangefinders above, or you can check out our best golf rangefinder buyer’s guide.
- Leupold Gx-4la2 Rangefinder – High-end alternative to the Bushnell Product Range.
- Bushnell Pro X7 – Best All Round Rangefinder In 2016
Other Rangefinders I have looked at
- Breaking 80
- Callaway Hybrid GPS
- Bushnell Tour Xrev
- Bushnell Z6
- Bushnell Tour V3 (Best Value Rangefinder 2018)
- Nikon Coolshot 20
If you’re a beginner to rangefinders, then fear not as we have put together an extensive buyers guide found below. If you already have a rangefinder and are familiar with them, either looking to replace or upgrade your existing. You are already familiar with rangefinders, then you will know that can be a real game-changer which help to dramatically increase your score.
So, without wasting anymore time, let’s get into the best golf rangefinder reviews.
Best Golf Rangefinder – First Place!
Bushnell Pro X2 – ReviewView Lowest Price On Amazon
Measuring distance especially using devices, have now become a massive part of anyone’s golf game. Whether that’s GPS watches, GPS displays within a golf cart and even rangefinders. All of these have become a must have accessories every golfer must have in their equipment on the course. Bushnell have become the number 1 on the market having a specialization in the best golf rangefinder, binoculars, scopes and other products associated with hunting, wildlife and golf.
If you were to ask 100 people, I guarantee that over 97 of them would say the name Bushnell as the first brand that comes to their mind when they think of the best golf rangefinder. While not every model of Bushnell is fantastic, the Bushnell Pro X2 is another of their brilliant products, coming from one of the best in the business.
With the Bushnell Pro X2 being another fine example of what Bushnell can do, using state of the art technology, as well as offering durability, usability and a gorgeous looking device when compared with competitors. This is why I have decided that the Bushnell rangefinders are going to make my top overall and value rangefinder category this year! That’s simply because they make the best golf rangefinder!
Of course, no product is without fault, so let’s take a look into all the details to find out more!
- Pinseeker With JOLT – This is a vibration which will give the user feedback (or JOLT) when the best golf rangefinder can see the flag. This makes it great when you’re going to be shooting to a flag which is behind trees or shrubs, helping to make sure you don’t end up using the wrong club!
- Dual Display Technology (DDT) – Bushnell has placed in a color toggle within the display, this will allow you to change the colors of crosshairs and numbers helping to give contrast against your target.
- Slope Compensation Technology – This technology helps to take into account the amount of incline/decline of the hole, which means it then adjusts the reading to be accurate. Without these adjustments, it would cause you to come up short on both uphill and downhill shots.
- Slope Switch Technology – This will allow for you to turn the slope on and off, this helps to make sure that you remain legal. With the USGA rule changes recently, they do allow for rangefinders within competitive games ( Dependant On The Local Official ), but the slope adjustments must be turned off.
The Most Durable Best Golf Rangefinder To Date
With the Bushnell Pro X2, it has become one of the most durable units that I have reviewed currently. It has a great metal body construction which really feels sturdy in your hand, when comparing with the plastic units that many manufacturers use in their golf rangefinders. I didn’t particularly want to drop my X2 but, I would bet that it would be able to hold up if it was to be dropped out of your pocket and onto a hard surface.
Another great feature of the Pro X2 is that it is totally waterproof, meaning you could go out and play in the harshest of storms. You know, Caddyshack style 😉
In Depth About Dual Display Technology (DDT)
With the simple press of the “Mode” button, you can activate the DDT (Dual Display Technology) which will switch between a bright red or sharp black display. This is a fantastic feature, as when the lighting conditions become worse, the user has the ability to change the color of the display to an option which will work best for them and is most visible.View Lowest Price On Amazon
In Depth About Pinseeker JOLT Technology
You can easily end up shooting at the incorrect target, if you don’t have the right feedback given to ensure that you have the correct pin locked onto. Many times the trees which are behind the green can be close enough, which can often make you think that you are going to be on target. But, far enough to potentially make you choose the wrong club to take the shot with.
With the Pinseeker JOLT Technology, the best golf rangefinder produces a small jolt when it has accurately detected the pin when you are shooting the pin. This helps to give the player safety, with the knowledge that they have the correct distance to the pin. Meaning that they are shooting at the green instead of the trees which are a couple of yards behind. Being a standard feature for the last 4 models of Bushnell.
In Depth About Slope Compensation Technology
Many players don’t find the ability to calculate undulation a big concern, but when you’re main golf course is placed on the side of a mountain, using a best golf rangefinder that has the slope compensation feature is a great deal of help. Many professional and amateur players who compete within the USGA and other large amateur events also find a great amount of assistance from the slope compensation technology. Being able to calculate the amount of slope in practice rounds will help the player to have accurate notes in their yardage book. This is so they can reference this whilst playing on the course during their tournaments.
In Depth About Slope Switch Technology
When rangefinders first came into the market, many of them didn’t have compensation for a slope. But, as the technology has improved throughout recent models, they started to build in slope compensation. However, it wasn’t till a lot later that you could purchase models which had the ability to switch between the modes.
Just under 3 years ago, Bushnell brought a model to the market, where you could add an attachment to the front which would give the ability to either have slope compensation or not. This meant that in order to change modes, the user would simply remove or add the attachment on to the best golf rangefinder, being a quick and easy way for any player to quickly change.View Lowest Price On Amazon
With the Pro X2 you get a great user friendly best golf rangefinder, the shape giving you a great grip and the rubber case protecting against any drops or scrapes. Not to mention, it is fully waterproof which means that it can be taken to the course no matter the weather! With the ability to have two different display colors, you know that you are going to be able to have the best visibility, no matter the lighting conditions. Switching between slope technology is also a great piece of usability, as there isn’t a need to change any attachments.
Looking at the Pro X2’s body, the metal and weight really help to secure the fact that you are holding something that is high-quality. This all adds to the confidence you have whilst using it, knowing that the readings it is going to supply will be both fast and accurate.
With the best golf rangefinder you would expect that it would offer the best accuracy, well with the X2 there is plenty of it. Being able to shoot between a range of 5-1300 yards, then being able to have an accuracy within ½ a yard is incredible! With the Pinseeker JOLT Technology, you can ensure that you have the right pin shot, meaning you can have a lot of confidence in the distance you have chosen. With the slope compensation technology, you have yet another extension to make sure that you distance is being obtained accurately.
Looking at the Bushnell Pro X2’s price tag, it is a little high, but it is a product that is a great investment and will stand the test of time. With the offering of Bushnell’s trade up program, you can trade in your existing model and get a newer model instead. Not to mention, the Pro X2 has a 2 year warranty from the date of purchase.View Lowest Price On Amazon
So then, the Bushnell Pro X2 is one of the best golf rangefinder that they have produced…EVER. It is a greatly designed rangefinder, giving a lot of high-end features, but still managing to give you accurate and quick readings. With a rubber and metal casing, it really is durable. Having the knowledge that it is fully waterproof is also reassuring incase you were to drop it into the water accidentally. With the ability to switch slope technology, it can be a great feature for those who play in competitive games. Using the slope compensation whilst you are on your practice rounds to gather data and simply turning it off when it is legal for you to use distance measuring devices in events that allow them.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Best Golf Rangefinder – Best Value For Money
Bushnell Tour V4 Golf Laser Rangefinder With JOLT & Slope – ReviewView Lowest Price On Amazon
Taking from the huge success which was their previous Tour Model, the V3. Bushnell have decided to make some minor tweaks, the most noticeable of these is the reduction in size, down by 30%. They have also managed to improve their already great pinseeker speed, as well as their slope compensation mechanic. However, don’t let the small size of this model fool you, it really is a great high quality laser rangefinder which you should be super happy with.
- Accurate To Within 1 Yard
- Jolt Technology With PinSeeker
- Legal In Many Tournament Plays
- With A Range Of 5-1,000 Yards To A Single Flag
- Magnification Of Up To 5X
- Quick Focus System
- 2 Year Warranty
- Stable-Grip Giving A Comfortable Experience
What’s In The Box?
So you may be wondering, what comes in the Tour V4 box, see below:
- The Bushnell Tour V4 Unit
- Hard Case With The Ability To Hang It From Your Golf Bag
- Silicone Protection Cover
- Cleaning Cloth For The Best Golf Rangefinder Lens
With the Tour V4 Shift, it has brought a new way to toggle slope compensation to the market. Many laser rangefinders such as the Tour X (Another Bushnell Product) or Leupold GX-4i2 had a bright colour faceplate which had to be removed before the slope feature would be disabled. This was a great thing for many tour officials, as it was obvious to them if you were using a slope-enabled best golf rangefinder or not, especially if it wasn’t legal in the tournament. The only issue with this, is that you have a 2 separate parts that you have to carry round and switch. Once you’ve taken off the faceplate and placed it into your bag, it could easily get lost. With the toggle button which is located on the side of the Tour V4, once it has been turned on you can see the words “Slope Edition” when it is active. This means you achieve the same result without the need of two separate pieces. Great thinking from Bushnell here.
So, Is The Tour V4 The Best Golf Rangefinder For The Money?
The Bushnell Tour V4 is around a year old now and was released at a high ticket price. However, the most recent prices are much more affordable for everyone. I believe it’s great value for the number of features that are supplied, Bushnell’s brand reputation and the history of the model line. If you’re in the market for the best golf rangefinder at a reasonable price, then this is the one for you.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Why Should You Buy It?
- Quick Shooting Capability
- Safe For Rain Play With Its Water Resistant
- Range Of 5-1000 Yard Range, With A Practicality Range Of Around 350 Yards But Still Able To See Objects 700 Yards Away.
- Compact & Easily Fits Within Your Pocket And Hand. If You Don’t Have Room In Your Bag For A Large Size Rangefinder Then The Tour V4 Is For You.
- Using The PinSeeker Is Easy With Great Target Acquisition.
Why You Maybe Shouldn’t Buy It?
- Lower Magnification Power, 5X Compared To 6-7X On The Newer Models
- Not As Accurate As Newer Models, 1 Yard Accuracy Compared With ½ Yard On Newer Models
- Small & Lightweight Means It Can Be Hard To Remain Steady – I Found Using Two Hands Was Best To Stabilize It.
Bushnell Tour V3 Vs Tour V4
- Bushnell Tour V4 Is 30% Smaller Compared.
- Slope Control On & Off Switch Has Been Added
Bushnell’s Explanation Video
How To Use It
The Tour V4 is a simple rangefinder to use. Simply press the power/fire button to turn it on (single press). To aim at your target, you need to press down the primary button and hold until you can see the distance showing within the lens. Once you let go of this button, you will notice that the unit will turn back off after 30 seconds automatically. If you are having a little trouble locking onto your target, even after shooting the laser for 10 seconds, let go of the button and try it again.
Pinseeker Feature & How It Works
Bushnell’s legendary Pinseeker technology is ideal to single out the flag when there a lot of other objects around, an example being a number of trees behind the green. When the unit has a number of potential targets within the crosshair, it will display an icon which will be a circled flag in the lower left corner. Once this icon has appeared, the distance shown is the object which is closest to you.
Slope Feature & How It Works
A standard best golf rangefinder which doesn’t have slope technology, will always make it as though you are aiming at the target which is on the same level as you are. Which means it will not take into account if the target is up or down hill from you. The main problem with an uphill shot for example, would be that your shot will travel shorter than if the target was on the same level. This being down to the ball having less travel time before it hits the ground.
The slope feature however, is designed to figure out whether the target is up or downhill and by how much. This will help to give the best golf rangefinder enough data to calculate what the real distance to your target is, helping you to make a great shot! Trust me, it’s better than doing geometry on the course anyway! So, it’s pretty handy aye!View Lowest Price On Amazon
Having a CR-2-3-Volt lithium battery, the Bushnell Tour V4 has a fantastic battery life when compared with early rangefinders. Being able to last at least 40+ rounds. Once the battery is low, you will see a “loB” within the viewfinder display. If you take a look through the user manual, you will see that it recommends changing the battery every 12 months, that’s why I recommend keeping a spare in your golf bag. Better to be safe than sorry 😉
Using It In Tournaments, Is It Legal?
Yes, it is totally legal. Depending on the tournament rules, you will have to turn off the slope switch feature, so that the slope feature is completely off. As it is illegal to use this in tournaments.
So, Should You Purchase It?
Now you’re probably wondering, should I purchase the Bushnell Tour V4? It is definitely a great rangefinder if you are wanting something of high quality from one of the best manufacturers on the market. With some really great upgrades from the V3 model, previously our best value pick. I find that it fits great in my palm and the use of a slope switch instead of a faceplate is a fantastic upgrade.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Best Golf Rangefinder – New Arrival
Precision Pro NX7 Laser Rangefinder – ReviewView Lowest Price On Amazon
If you’re looking to remove a few strokes from your game, then a laser best golf rangefinder is the ideal way to do so! Not to mention, it will give you a great amount of confidence whilst you are out and about on the course. It’s important to have unbelievable accuracy when you have the best laser rangefinders, not only this but a great battery life, zoom and also the ability to have a lock onto any intended target. It’s brilliant when you can have a great feeling and lightweight device within your hands.
The NX7 laser rangefinder is a very new device to come to the golfing market, that isn’t only a great price for the kit, but it also does well on the point mentioned above. Being one of the best golf rangefinder dollar for dollar, also it really gives the TecTecTec a challenge for being the best golf rangefinder for the money.
Simple, Accurate & Easy To Use
Being as accurate as any of the best golf rangefinders available to purchase today. The Precision Pro NX7 is incredibly accurate to within a single yard of any target you are aiming at and is able to give an accurate distance reading of within one tenth of a yard. If you want to know whether you are within 54.6 yards or 55.1 yards, of course I am unsure why you would want to do this but the NX7 is more than capable of doing this.
Locking onto a target with the NX7 couldn’t be simpler by pressing a button on the top of the device. Once this has been completed, you will see a circle with a small crosshair will be seen when looking into the scope. The crosshair will be blinking, this means that it is searching for the yardage to the target. Once the yardage has been found, the crosshair will stop blinking and the yardage will be displayed. The NXY is extremely simple to use and can provide you with all the information you need without showing all the information you don’t need.
With the NX7 hosting TAG ( Target Acquisition Technology ) which will prevent the best golf rangefinder from picking any objects which are within the background, which is great when you are trying to hit a specific target. With this particular device being capable of picking up targets which are 400 yards away. Yes, that is a great distance!View Lowest Price On Amazon
With many laser rangefinders it can be a difficult task to ensure that you have the correct target lasered. Accidentally hitting the tree behind the flag is a perfect example of this. A lot of the time it can lead you to shoot further than required to the green. With the NX7 however, this can become a distant worry. With it only being as accurate as the user who is currently operating it. If you have a shaky hand and are unable to keep your hand steady whilst pointing at the target, you will want to laser the flag twice to ensure that you have the correct distance. Ensuring that you have targeted the correct object.
While many people don’t consider the speed of a rangefinder important, there is nothing more frustrating to other players than a slow golfer. With many rangefinders currently on the market being incredibly slow to find and lock onto a target. Not to mention, provide you with an accurate and reliable yardage that would help you with your game. With the Precision Pro NX7 however, it is able to give you the yardage to the locked on target within a second. This means that you won’t be the slow player holding up your friends whilst going round the course. Not to mention, constantly scanning the course with your device to ensure you have the right target every few minutes.
The zoom available on the NX7 golf laser rangefinder gives you the perfect view of your intended target. With the ability to zoom 6X which is possibly one of the best zoom if not better than many of the other best golf laser rangefinders available for purchase to date. The 6X zoom helps to give you a great amount of clarity when lasering your target over a large distance and give you a better chance to lock the crosshairs onto the flag or any other object you would like to lock onto.
Several Distance Types
With the ability to easily switch between how you measure the distance to your intended target, the Precision Pro NX7 is great for this! If you’re from the U.S then you will want to have your measurements done in yards. But, if you are from many other places in the world, you will likely want to have the distance displayed in meters. By simply pressing a button, you can change whether you receive the distance in meters or yards, with all of this being completely legal in a tournament.
Some Other Great Features
There are a huge range of features which I really feel need to be mentioned, this laser rangefinder really is packed full! Sometimes, the smaller features are just as important as the major features that I have mentioned above. An example of this being, you could hold in your hand the world’s most accurate laser rangefinder, but it may require $30 batteries that have to be replaced every 3 weeks. This makes the device as a whole a lot less valuable. It is super annoying when a device feels odd in your hand or can be broken after a small drop from your pocket. There are a number of other perks that this NX7 best golf rangefinder has to offer which need no explanation.
- Free Battery Replacement
- Great Device Size
- Shock Resistant
- Water Resistant
- Great Hand Feel, Easy To Handle No Awkwardness Here!
- 2 Year Warranty
NX7 Pro With Slope Feature
Anyone who wants a little more technology within their golf laser rangefinder, the Precision Pro NX7 give a lot in terms of its slope technology. The NX7 pro is different from the NX7 as it will provide accurate yardage readings no matter the elevation. This can be a huge help whilst you are on the course, as many courses have large elevation changes or if you are playing a course for the first time.
Once you have enabled the slope technology feature, the NX7 pro will help give you the actual yardage to where you set the flag pin. This distance will be exact with the amount of elevation taken into consideration. This slope feature is not tournament legal, but you can easily turn this setting off during any kind of tournament event. The NX7 Pro also has a pulse vibration technology which will alert you when you are on locked onto a target. This means that it can be ideal for checking the yardage on your target when there are a number of objects in the background and foreground.
Of course, as expected you will have to pay out a little more money in order to have these benefits on your rangefinder. With the total increase in price being around $50. If you are wanting the best price for this rangefinder you should check that here.
The Precision Pro NXT golf laser rangefinder helps to give you the help you need to reduce your scores. With it really being able to compete with a number of the best golf rangefinders on the market, costing a lot less than many others on the market. There are a huge number of upsides to this device, with no real drawbacks. Being solid, durable, accurate and really simple to use. If you are looking for an entry level laser rangefinder then you won’t be disappointed with this device. As I stated earlier in this article, this is one of the best golf laser rangefinders for the money.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Best Golf Rangefinder – Budget/For The Money
This is the best golf rangefinder that will get the job done and is cost effective which will save you money to purchase other gear.
TecTecTec VPRO500 ReviewView Lowest Price On Amazon
When you look at the VPRO500, it is a relatively new name in the whole best golf rangefinder world. With a 6x magnification, 400 yard range and a great price for the features it packs. Being heavier than the Bushnell V3, however still under 1lb. The specs on this unit have the V3 beat, these being its accuracy, range and even magnification. But there does seem to be a number of reports which flag up a number of defects with this best golf rangefinder. There is a 1 year warranty given by TecTecTec, which gives you piece of mind when you are using it. Overall, the VPRO500 has a sturdy feel to it and is make for a great entry level rangefinder for many golfers who heavily rely on their eyes or GPS units. This rangefinder will definitely help you to get the job done.
- Legal For Tournament Use
- 450 Yard Range, With Accuracy Up To 1 Yard
- One Year Warranty
- 6x Magnification
- Pinseeking Technology
So You’re Probably Wondering, Who Is TecTecTec?
Well they certainly are not a name that you would be familiar with in the golf world, or likewise. There isn’t a great deal of information to be found publicly when it comes to the company, even their product range is a little confusing. Having the best golf rangefinder, a copy of the GoPro ( with a number of digital projectors found on their european website ).
Obviously with the company not focusing on golf, there may be a number of questions raised when it comes to them producing a high quality rangefinder. However, TecTecTec is slowly building up their reputation in the golf industry, starting with their VPRO500 rangefinder which has a budget friendly price and fantastic customer service. With TecTecTec being a newer company, it will take a while to see whether they are here to stay but, so far there are a number of positive signs.View Lowest Price On Amazon
There are a number of reasons that the VPRO500 is great, the main being that it is a lightweight and compact rangefinder. Packing a 6x Magnification, hard case and even a perfect pin sensor. With a larger lens, it helps to give a perfectly clear view when looking for your target in order to receive a measurement. The pinseek technology in this device isn’t fantastic, but it is still more accurate than using your eye or GPS unit.
Being a small enough device that can easily slip into your pocket between shots, makes it the ideal course companion. With a water resistant coating, which means you don’t have to worry about it getting wet whilst on the course. The water resistance of this device means that you can place it down on the wet grass whilst you take your shot, rather than having to place it back into your bag each time. ( Just make sure you pick it up before moving down the course! ).
- Great Price For The Overall Unit
- Up To 6x Magnification ( With Most Rangefinders Having 5x )
- Fantastic Company Customer Service & Support
- When Compared With Bushnell & Leupold Is Less Accurate
- No Track Record Due To Company Being New
- The Overall Durability Of The Device Is Unclear
The VPRO500 doesn’t look much once you take it out of the box. But, since I purchased this model they have updated the case. However, the packaging the device comes in isn’t anything to write home about.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Honorable Mention: Bushnell V3 With JoltView Lowest Price On Amazon
Quick Note: Although the V3 was the best value rangefinder in 2016. It has since become discontinued and I now recommend getting the Bushnell V4, as the price of this unit has come down over the past year.
The Bushnell V3 is a compact, crowd pleaser that introduced us to Bushnell’s Pinseeker technology and JOLT, their vibration feature when locking onto targets. It has been out now for several years but it is still on the most competitive devices to date ( due to best golf rangefinder technology peaking, like you would find in smartphone technology ). With the V3 being able to lock onto pins at a fast pace, regardless of how shaky your hands are. Similar to other rangefinders when at a distance, I had to use two hands to keep the device steady whilst aiming at targets over 250 yards away. But, I find that I don’t tend to shoot any further than this anyway. ( Rarely getting to shoot targets over 200 yards away).
- Legal For Tournament Use ( No Slope Feature )
- Up To 450 Yard Range ( Accuracy Of Up To 1 Yard )
- Magnification Of 5x
- JOLT & Pinseek Technology
- Warranty For Up To 2 Years
So, Is The V3 The Best Golf Rangefinder For The Money?
With the Tour V3 being a big step up from its predecessor the V2, which really was a great rangefinder that help to solidify Bushnell in the world of golf equipment. With Bushnell having been known for its hunting rangefinders and rifle scopes, but they added in some golfing functionality into the V1 and V2 models.
When you compare the V2 to the V3, there is a more ergonomic feel, with the device being very well suited for a user. Not only this, but it has the added JOLT feature which will give a vibration when the user has locked onto their target. The pinseeker feature worked well in the previous models, but has become a lot more defined in the newer V3 model.
Although the V3 has been out on the market now for a good few years now, it has slowly become the best selling and one of the most competitive models currently available for purchase to date.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Why Should You Buy It?
- The Shooting Is Rather Quick
- Water Resistant – Which Means It’s Safe For Rain Play
- Up To 1000 Yard Range, Practical Range Of Around 350 Yards
- Easy Target Lockon With The Pinseeker Technology
- Compact & Easily Fits Within Your Hand, Can Easily Be Stored In Your Pocket
Why You May Want To Reconsider
- Magnification Only Up To 5x Which Is Low When Compared With The 6-7x With Newer Models Out There
- Accurate To Within 1 Yard, Compared To The ½ Yard On Newer Models
- Is A Little More Fragile Than It Should Be
How To Use It
The Tour V3 is an incredibly easy to use device. Simply press the power/fire button to turn on the device. The next step is to take aim at your target object, then if you press and hold down the power/fire button, until you begin to see the distance reading displayed on the lens. Once you release this button, the device will automatically turn itself off after 30 seconds. If you can’t get locked onto your target, even after 10 seconds of shooting the laser, simply let go of the button and repeat the above steps again until you receive a reading.
Pinseeker Technology, How Does It Work?
The Bushnell Pinseeker technology really helps to isolate the flag from any other objects around it. Things such as trees, birds and other objects that could cause issues to many other rangefinders. Once the Tour V3 has several objects within its finder, it will show an icon which has a circled flag within the lower left corner of the finder screen. Once this icon appears, the distance which is shown will be the object which is closest to you.View Lowest Price On Amazon
How Does The Slope Feature Work Exactly?
This feature is only available on those models “with slope” of the Tour V3.
With the standard rangefinders, those without the slope will always make the assumption that the object you are targeting is on the same level as you are. Regardless of whether it is up or downhill from you. The main problem with this is that your uphill shot will always travel shorter, than those with a target on the same level. This is due to the ball having less time to travel to its target before it hits the ground.
The slope feature on these devices helps to figure out exactly how much down or uphill your shot is going to be. This means that it will calculate the real distance that you are from your target. It means that you don’t have to do geometry whilst your on the course, which means you can save a lot of time.
When it comes to the battery in the Bushnell Tour V3 with JOLT, it has a CR-2 3-Volt Lithium Battery. Many rangefinders have a number of issues with their battery life, however with the V3 it has been reported that it can last more than 40 rounds. Wondering whether you will know when you have low battery? You sure can, once the battery is low you will see a “loB” icon within the viewfinder.
Is The Tour V3 Tournament Legal?
The models which contain the slope feature will be legal in tournament play by local rule, this means that it is up to the event officials whether it is allowed to be used. The model of the V3 Tour, known as the Standard Edition is tournament legal.
So, Should You Consider Purchasing It?
Bushnell is certainly a company that is proving itself within the golf industry. So it is safe to say that the Bushnell Tour V3 is definitely worth considering. Especially if you are looking for a well made, high quality made device from a trusted manufacturer. It can compete with any of of the newest rangefinders, as it contains the same features, but is no longer considered to be state-of-the-art. Similar to smartphones, these rangefinders will still have all the same technology as we have now, just slightly improved through each model. If you are currently on the course using a GPS, which will help give you the distance to the middle of the green, then you should really consider getting the V3. It will really help to make a huge difference to your game.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Best Overall Rangefinder Of 2016
Bushnell Pro X7 Golf Laser Rangefinder With JOLT TechnologyView Lowest Price On Amazon
Quick Note: This was my top pick for 2016, however I still consider it to be one of the best golf rangefinder still available for purchase to date. With the overall device weight and the binocular like design, it is the perfect device for any golfer who has a hard time keeping their device stable. Especially when shooting at a target that is over 200 yards away.
The Bushnell Pro X7 is used by over 90% of the PGA Tour Professionals.
This best golf rangefinder will beat all of its competitors in almost all categories for features, which means that it is definitely worth taking a deeper look into.
Bushnell definitely takes the crown of the best golf rangefinder, bringing in it’s high end Pro X7 to the table. Boasting a 7x magnification which is the best currently available by a long shot! Being able to be accurate up to a 550 yard range. While the Bushnell V3 is the best seller due to it’s extremely low price point, the recent price decreases of the X7 have brought the price down low enough to warrant paying that little bit extra. For what Bushnell is labelling it as the most powerful rangefinder in the world.
When the Bushnell Pro X7 was first brought to the market there was a ton of hype around it. There is a very good reason for that. It is one of the most accurate rangefinders that you will find available for purchase today, with only a few small criticisms. I love the X7 so much that I decided to make it my Best Golf Rangefinder Of 2018 and I take it with me to every course I play!
The Pro X7 device is a little bigger than you would usually expect from your standard rangefinder, with it taking up most of the box it comes packaged within. With a semi-hard zip case, similar looking to the ones that a pair of nice quality Bose headphones come in. Of course, quality packaging is always a good sign that there is a quality product within the box.
The zip case has a carabiner clip which will allow you to hang it from your waistband loops or on the side of your bag. This is a great idea, especially for me as my bag is a little cluttered at the moment and I think the device is a little too big to be carried around in my pocket. I often take a small bag around the course with me, something similar to this, this means that I have to be very selective over the gear that I take. If there isn’t any room remaining I will try to clip things to the exterior of the bag. I would be able to store my Pro X7 inside my bag, if it wasn’t overrun by my golf shoes after each round.
Having the device clipped to my bag means that I can easily grab it to shoot the distance, right before I have even gotten to my ball.
The battery comes with the device and it took me no time at all to get started with it. The elastic loop which is on the case means that you can easily remove the device without unzipping each time, distracting players whilst they are taking their shots. It is a great feature to have and also shows you that Bushnell pay attention to the small details. This giving you more trust in the Pro X7 device whilst you are out on the course.View Lowest Price On Amazon
- Accurate Up ½ Yard WIth Max Distance Being 550 Yards ( Range )
- Legal For Tournament Use ( No Slope )
- Magnification Of Up To 7X
- PinSeeker With JOLT Technology
- Water Resistant/Waterproof
- Battery Door Issue Found In Previous Model Has Been Addressed
- 2 Year Warranty
- Speed Tech, With ESP ( Extreme Speed Precision )
- Beautiful Display, With Technology Assists Dependant On Lighting Conditions
If you are looking to buy the Bushnell Pro X7 and are currently comparing it with other models that are available, then here are a couple of features that I believe make it a LOT better than the competition:
Feature By Feature Review
Accurate To .1 Yards Within A 125 Yard Range
Ensuring that you have a perfect approach slot comes from being dialed in from a short range. With the Pro X7, it really gives you an edge when it comes to accuracy, being between .5 to .1 of a yard accurate, it really does help to give you a confidence boost. Although you may not be a great golfer, or you may lack the accuracy that comes with this precision, but whilst I am using it, I find that it gives me a lot of confidence in the numbers it outputs. I practice my 40 yard toss a lot and I love to use it, well just because!
Magnification, Up To 7X
With the Pro X7 being capable of a 7X zoom, it is no wonder that it is currently the best on the market. With this extra amount of magnification it helps you to shoot the flag, even if you are up to 550 yards away. The device also helps you to see the slope clearly, as well as the undulations within the green, this means that you can take a confident approach to all of your shots. You are able to focus the lens, similar to how you would do so on a DSLR camera.
Whilst I usually play on a flat course, it is definitely a fantastic feeling when you are able to shoot at the flag on a Par 5, even if you are a way out! This is great, although you only really need to have around 300 yards. With the extra weight of this device, it really helps to keep your hands stable, especially if you tend to have the shakes while shooting.View Lowest Price On Amazon
The pinseeker technology which is in this device has been out for a number of years now, but it really does give a great advantage over those rangefinders without the pinseeker. With a large number of devices $200+ having the pinseeker tech, which makes this device not too much different from the others listed in this post.
With many competing rangefinders within this post, only having the ability of being rain proof, this device will withstand being placed into water. Although I won’t be testing my unit with this anytime soon, I do like the confidence it gives you incase you were to accidentally drop it into water somehow.
Bushnell has come up with their ESP Technology, knows as Extreme Speed Precision. This technology has been designed to give you the fastest reading possible. Giving it the title of “extreme” does seem a little far fetched but, it is incredibly fast. Providing the reading almost instantly.
Vivid Display Technology
Essentially this is a posh way of saying that the screen will adjust depending on the amount of light that is currently around you. With 4 settings named BRT1 – BRT4 with the highest number being the brightest. It can be a great thing to be able to adjust whilst you are playing, especially in the evenings. As you don’t want to lose your shot due to having a heavy brightness in your eye whilst shooting.
Used By The Professionals
PGA Professionals all over the globe are using Bushnell rangefinders in their games, more than any other brand currently on the market. There are not many club makers who have a market share like this for either irons or drivers, which means you can tell these units are high quality.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Sturdy & Durable
Comparing this to most of the other rangefinders within this post, this device is on the heavier side. But, it still comes in at less than a pound in weight, so it’s not too much heavier.
Using The Bushnell Pro X7
The device is extremely friendly for any user, with the minimal amount of buttons actually on the unit itself. Simply pressing down the power button, aiming and holding until you have a displayed reading is all it takes. You can adjust the brightness by holding down the mode button and simply setting the brightness you require.
- The overall weight, 12 oz.
- Size, Styled in more of binocular style than a vertical best golf rangefinder
There are a number of improvements which do come at a cost when comparing this device to the competition. The downfalls mainly being around the size and weight. Coming in at 12 ounces, this Bushnell device is around 50% heavier when compared with the Tour Z6 ( as well as being almost twice the weight of the Tour V3), not only the weight but the size compared is large too. Because of its large size, you won’t be able to slip it into your pocket during your round of golf. If you don’t consider these two things to be a major put off, then this rangefinder is definitely the best you can get on the market currently. ( Even better than the Tour V4! Yes I KNOW!).
To Conclude – Do I Love It?
I am really happy to say that yes, I do love this device! I’m able to shoot over long distances with ease and only really doing so twice at each hole. I can safely say that using this has help to improve my game no end and has helped me to really get to know my distances. I am finding that I am growing my confidence in my swing and knowing that I have the right set of golf clubs to help me better my score. There is really only one downside that I see in this device and it is the size of the unit, but I am happy to make the sacrifice of the weight due to having more precision. Not only this but being able to keep my hand steadier whilst aiming and the extra magnification really helps over long distances.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Nikon Coolshot 20 ReviewView Lowest Price On Amazon
Nikon is widely known for their cameras and accessories, which makes no surprise that they have made the decision to try their camera tech in the golf market. With their Coolshot 20 device, it is possibly one of the smallest rangefinders you will ever handle ( I think even the smallest ever one to be made ). Although it’s small, don’t underestimate its performance. Being pocket sized, with “no-frills” it is a gorgeous piece of design, with a clear lens and an almost zero learning curve. Looking for a budget friendly best golf rangefinder? Look no further, the Nikon Coolshot 20 will get the job done without any fuss.
- Greatly Priced, Making It the Ideal Budget Friendly Rangefinder
- No Steep Learning Curve, Everything Can Be Learnt In A Matter Of Minutes
- Pocket Sized, Perfect For Any Golfer Who Uses The Device Multiple Times On Their Round
- Shoot Time Of 8 Seconds, Means You Can Get Several Distances To Targets In One Shot
- Rain Proof – Don’t Fret About The Rain Stopping Play
- Up To 6X Magnification, ( I Feel This Is The Right Amount, 7X Can Feel Often Too Zoomed In & 5X Can Leave Me Feeling Things Are Still Too Far Away).
- No Slope Technology ( The Ability To Work Out Distances Regardless Of Hills )
- No Pinseeker Tech, This Would Greatly Assist With Flag Targeting
- Making Sure You’re Shooting The Flag Can Be Hard, Especially If There Are A Number Of Bushes & Trees At The Back Of The Green
The price really does set the Coolshot 20 apart from its competition. Especially when you consider that Nikon are bringing something quite unique to the golf rangefinders market. With their low price point, Nikon is the only brand that is a well established technology company that is competing in this space. TecTecTec have a great unit, but with their price point set a little high, it leaves only those golfers who are looking for a huge number of features, with little or no preference on brand names. The advantage of the Coolshot 20 is the Nikon brand logo it dawns.
It is worth noting that it would be wrong to say that any best golf rangefinder purchased is incredibly complex to use. If you are able to use your smartphone and drive, then you will certainly be able to use a simple rangefinder. If you are wanting me to say that the Coolshot 20 is easier to use than its rivals on the market, then it would be a redundant statement to make. But, I do strongly believe that it is simplistic and is for the golfer who doesn’t want “BS”. If you like to keep your equipment simple and easy to use, then you should really consider adding this device to your collection. Shoot a few distances per round and you will see that this is a no hassle unit.
Accurate Shot Without Pinseeker Tech, 8 Seconds To Shoot
If you’re looking for the best golf rangefinder that is simple to use, this is the one, but if you have a background that is cluttered you may have a problem shooting the pin due to the other objects. Without the Pinseeker technology from Bushnell it can be hard to find the flagstick manually. The best thing to get the distance right, is to use all of the 8 seconds you are given when you press the button, to scan the entire target area.
If you are a very low handicap golfer, you don’t necessarily need to target the flag perfectly anyway. With an average golfer being able to target the rough range which is near the center of the green. It really is simple to get a good feel for the distance needed, even if you are shooting indirectly at the flag. You can even do it with a general sweeping motion. Doing this, you will be able to receive around 5-10 different readings, this will help you to find which club to use. It can take a few rounds to be able to use a rangefinder effectively, but once you have it, it really is a great skill to have.
The Coolshot 20 from Nikon is one of the smallest devices I have ever seen and reviewed. If your worried that you don’t have anymore room in your bag for another piece of equipment. This is the best golf rangefinder for you, as it can remain within your pocket the whole way round, without it being a nuisance. It will fit nicely into your hand, being a whole 15 percent smaller than the TecTecTec VPRO500 which is one of the smaller rangefinders at the same price point.
Rainproof, Ideal For Rain Play
Similar to most of the rangefinders that have been released over the past 5 years, it is totally rainproof. This is a feature that you hope you will never need, but it is nice to know that they have thought about it. From as far as I can see, the rainproof feature is exactly the same as the other competitors.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Magnification Up To 6X
Magnification in the best golf rangefinder is a tricky one to get right. The reason being, is that if you don’t have enough, it will be difficult to ever see your target. On the other hand, if you have more than enough, it will be hard to see what is tree bark when you are super close up. With many manufacturers deciding that the sweet spot is around 6x magnification. At some point in the near future, we will have a zoom on our rangefinders, but until then you can have confidence in rangefinders with 6x magnification.
The CoolShot 20 that Nikon has brought to the market is certainly a strong competitor within its price range. I strongly recommend this device for golfers who are looking for a rangefinder that is competitively priced and don’t require anything complex with too many features. Although, if you have a larger budget then I would definitely recommend considering the Bushnell unit, or if you are wanting similar features to the higher end models, take a look at the TecTecTec.View Lowest Price On Amazon
Rangefinder Buyer’s Guide & A Little History
Golf Before Rangefinders
I remember the exact moment when I purchased my very first rangefinder, it sticks in my mind very clearly.
Looking back a few years, I was playing on a course not too far from my home and I was matched with a fairly older guy, I can’t quite remember his name. Whilst on a Par 4, around 350 yards to the green, I pushed my driver right out from the rough, at around 210 yards in, within the 150 yard marker.
With the green sitting behind a body of water, a small creek which separates the green from the fairway. I guessed that there was around 120 yards to the front edge of the green, I have been in this situation several times before. But, I was extremely confident with my club selection, using my PW to hit around 130 yards. Giving it a full swing, I watched the ball hit the hill that was just behind the body of water, then it slowly rolled back into the creek.
I stood there, shocked at what had just happened to me, the older guy I was playing with at the time came up next to me with his cart. Reaching inside, he pulls out his best golf rangefinder. I have seen them before, just never used on a course. Almost a second passes and he turns to me saying, “124 yards to clear the creek and 128 yards to the green’s edge”. Leaving me behind and walking up to the green where his ball laid.
I shouted up to him, “Can I take a look at that?”
Note: I ran out to purchase the best golf rangefinder that day. ( I had a Nikon Aculon 8397, which at the time was considered to be a great rangefinder, but looking at it now the TecTecTec is the better option for the same price.
So, imagine what could happen to your scores if you could have the exact distances for each club you owned. Knowing the exact range to your target through every shot. This is what all the pros do with their caddies.
This type of best golf rangefinder allow for aiming directly at your target. Giving you the exact distance within a matter of inches. With the newer rangefinders having a very low margin of error. This meaning that you can remove your own guesswork, as a rangefinder will give you a more accurate reading.
What Is A Rangefinder?
Not sure what a rangefinder is? Well it is used to measure the distance that you/your ball is from a certain target. The way that the device will measure this distance is by using either GPS or Laser Technology.
This technology mainly uses a short laser pulse which is sent between yourself/your ball and the target that you are selecting. Then by measuring the amount of time it takes to receive it back, it can calculate the distance to the object. The speed is fixed on the pulse of the laser, meaning this device can use the set speed and bounce time to accurately calculate the distance. This also means that you will see the distance displayed within a few seconds.
Taking it’s readings from satellite data in order to give you the distance between you and your target. This technology can give you the distance to several fixed targets, typically found at the front, middle or back of the green. Some rangefinders can also include the distances to nearby hazards such as sand or water.
Should You Use A Rangefinder?
Here are the two main reasons why I believe you should have the best golf rangefinder within your bag:
- You will be able to find out the exact distance between you and all your targets
- You can accurately measure the distance of your shots
Whilst many golfers will say “I hit my 9L around 140 yards” when their actual shot went around 135 yards most of the time. With the actual shot being hit 140 yards on a Par 3 taking into account the 10 yard drop from the tee box. These habits will give unrealistic expectations, often leading to the failure of nearly every shot.
Whilst it may not seem important, knowing the correct distance to your targets can really be the difference between you putting your ball in the drink or getting a birdie almost every time!
When You Shouldn’t Be Using A Best Golf Rangefinder
You’re Just Starting Out, So You Won’t Need One…Yet
If you are not quite able to hit your shots consistently with the same distance, you should probably hold out on purchasing. But, having said this, when I was starting out I found it a great help being able to see the exact distances of my shots, whether that was from hazards, fairways and even the green. I would take my shot, shoot the distance and keep a record of it in my notepad. That way, the more data I had to look through, the better I was getting with my distances. Although they weren’t exactly consistent, I knew that over 50% of the time I was able to hit my 9L to around 135 yards.
It Can Slow Down The Pace Of Play…
Giving another process into your shooting routine can slow down your play, but not if you are considerably efficient with it. Here is a great routine to get into when using your best golf rangefinder:
- Keep It Within Easy Reaching I always like to have my best golf rangefinder somewhere I can easily grab it, whether that’s within my bag or my pocket. This means that I can quickly grab it when I am going up to the tee.
- Shooting Targets Whilst Walking You may be wondering why I would do this, as it could give me a 5-15 yard window? Well it often helps give me a rough idea of the lay up and when I should go for it. It is important within golf to take calculated risks, where the importance of knowing your distance should not be shunned.
- Have The Unit To Hand When I go to place my bag down, I already have the unit ready and waiting in my hand.
- Shooting Making sure that you shoot your target and get your distance quickly, so that you can place your rangefinder back whilst you are taking out the correct club for the shot. If you are wanting to shoot at multiple targets, then you should do a quick, efficient sweep.
- Ensure That Your Are Flexible If there is another player already shooting at their ball that is close to mine, I will shoot from that distance and work out the difference.
- Swinging Rather than spending a ton of time debating over whether your shot was 170 or 175 yards, I am positive that the distance which I am provided with will give me a huge boost in confidence over my choice of club.
Since I spend a lot of time without my best golf rangefinder trying to calculate distances, this whole process actually helps to give me a faster pace of play. If you’re not efficient, then it most likely will cause a slow down in the pace.
Don’t Courses Provide You With Distances Already?
Whilst many courses will give you distances on the back of scorecards, tee signage and markers throughout the fairway. But these markers distances are the measurement from them to the middle of the green, instead of where your ball is. Now, unless you are hitting you ball perfectly straight down the fairway each time, it is unlikely that this distance is the exact distance from your ball to the center of the green. This means you are just estimating the distance between yourself, the marker and the green.
Now if you are on of those golfers who is able to hit their ball straight down the fairway, then you shouldn’t forget that:
- Markers are easily moved, which means a member of staff or another player could have easily tampered with them. Not only this, but you could be in a worse position if you were to slice your drive.
- The yardage markers that you find at the tee box may also be off by a few yards, due to them having to be rotated to ensure that the grass grows evenly.
I Can’t See PGA Tour Professionals Using Them, So Why Do I Need To Use One?
Although you may not see your favourite golfer whip out their rangefinder on a Sunday US Open, doesn’t mean that they haven’t used the data provided by one. If you have ever been to a Wednesday practice round, you will not that there are several caddies who will spend multiple hours shooting the distances to several targets. This helps them to build a good amount of data and place it into their yardage book. The main reason why PGA tour players have a great ability to hit any shot the right distance is down to this collected data. Knowing what the distance is going to be, ensures that they are using the exact right club to make the perfect shot.
Rangefinders are especially good at helping get these distances, while the pro golfer is best at ensuring their shot is perfect. Studies have shown that a human’s depth perception isn’t the best for estimating distances to set targets, even when they are close up. With laser rangefinders helping to fix this by providing extremely accurate readings.
Manufacturers Of Golf Rangefinders
So, as you are probably aware by now, there are a number of key plays within the industry:
Being one of the most known brand names within the best golf rangefinder category, it certainly has a large share within the market. With 99% of the PGA Tour players claiming to use it. It was founded in 1948, with the company being acquired by Alliant Systems back in 2013. Also being known as Honeywell a former publicly traded company. Bushnell has their headquarters based within Overland Park, Kansas.
Another great name within the industry is Leupold, known for their outdoor optics. Having made their way into the world of golf, their primary line of GX series rangefinders are fantastic and their PinCaddie is great for beginners. Based In Beaverton, OR.
Being a newcomer to the world of rangefinders, TecTecTec is a company with little information. But, they are letting their products and customer service doing the talking. Their VPro500 is one of my favourite budget and also entry level rangefinders currently available on the market.
Whilst Nikon are famous for being the camera leaders, they have begun to produce their own range of rangefinders. This being after they had produced for Callaway for a number of years. Their current models are the CoolShot 20, 40 and 40i.
Receiving The Most From Your Best Golf Rangefinder
On The Course
There isn’t a secret formula to using your rangefinder whilst you’re on the course, but there are several things that you can do to maximise it.
- Make sure to choose 2-3 targets around you, rather than just a single one. This will give you a better idea of which club you should choose. If you only chose to target a single object which is 170 yards, you can get a 170-190 yards range with a safe landing area. This will make you pick up a longer club than you would usually choose for a 170 yard shot. To avoid causing a slow play, you can shoot your targets before you arrive at your ball.
- Take notes of your target & actual distance and shape. Are you playing with a club short when comparing it to your normal distance. You should really start to compensate for your shots on the course, you can do this by making sure you take that extra club to help. Make sure that you are playing the game you have, rather than the game you want. By doing practice sessions you can make sure you get the game you want. Playing these rounds that give you real expectations and strategies, so the earlier you can get your shot tendencies sorted, the better.
At The Range
Rangefinders are the perfect tool on the course, when having the exact distance to targets is essential. But, they are also great for use in practice. So, here are the best ways that you can use your rangefinder to ensure you get better in practice:
Have A Cheat Sheet, With Your Real Distances For Each Of Your Clubs
All golfers want to be able to hit long and straight each and every time. However, we do tend to overestimate the quality of the shots that we are able to hit. If your shots are great around 10 percent of the time, then you most likely won’t want to pick a target which is based around the flight of the ball of this 10% shot. Instead, you should figure out what you “most likely” shot shape and distance looks like, with any given club. If you know that 65% of the time you will be hitting 125 yards with your PW and 20% you are hitting around 135 yards.
You can use this club to carry out a 115 Yard hazard. If you are 115 yards 10-20% of the time, then you will want to club up to make sure you play it safe.
My Suggestions For Improving Laser Rangefinders
Unless there is some upcoming technology that is going to radically change the industry some time soon, I don’t believe that we are far off the peak of best golf rangefinder technology. They are all extremely quick, with a range of 5-7x magnification available, which is more than enough. As well as being able to calculate the angle of slopes and with pin seeking technology to ensure that you can find your target easily.
What else could could anyone ask for? Well, I do have one thing that I think could be brought to rangefinders. That being, the ability to zoom.
Having used a number of rangefinders with good magnification, I have definitely found that I can either be too zoomed in or out from my target. Noticing it more when there are a number of trees in the background of a shot. Give yourself a few seconds to adjust to the zoom, so that you can get an accurate reading from the target you want to shoot.
My idea is to use a zoom feature that you find on many of today’s cameras, beginning at around 4x magnification and going up to 7x, maybe even more than that. This will help you to find the target area quickly and then allowing you to zoom in onto your ideal target.
The main downfall of this would be that there are moving parts within the device, which could break if you were to drop the unit. But, I think that it will still be a great idea. I think that Canon are missing out on this and could produce something great. Especially as they are just starting out in the golfing world.
History & Legal Rules Of Rangefinders
History Of Rangefinders In Golf
Golf as a sport has slowly evolved over the past 700 years. With the improvements in both club and ball technology being huge over the past 15 years.
Laser rangefinders have slowly become a large part of a golfer’s game and utilizing technology that is used by the military. Sniper teams often depend on accurate distances when they are working out wind, gravity and target range.
The first laser rangefinder built by Bushnell debuted in 1955. Bushnell still remain one of the largest rangefinder manufacturers to date.
Is It Legal To Use The Best Golf Rangefinder During A Round?
Yes of course! Most of the rangefinders available for purchase are USGA legal, only those which measure distances though.
Back in 2006, the USGA and R&A brought in a rule change to 14-3 which prevented any golfer from using a DMD ( Distance Measuring Device ). This new rule allows the use of these devices provided there is no slope, wind speed or direction. This being a local rule, meaning that it would be up to the local courses, as to whether or not they allowed the usage of these devices. Back in 2014, it was decided that distance measuring devices would be allowed within amateur events.
Whilst there are a number of rangefinders coming out with this new slope technology, it doesn’t look like there are going to be any rule changes to include the use of this anytime soon.
“The USGA & R&A have no intention of permitting the use of electronic devices which go beyond any current rules and interpretations. This means that any distance measuring devices & applications will be limited to display distance information only. If there is a device which has additional features other than measuring distances, all these features must be set as stated in the Rules of Golf.”
If you were to break this rule, which was revised by the USGA Rules Of Golf in 2016, you will receive either two strokes in a stroke play or a complete loss of the hole in match play. If you were to breach this rule for the second time, you will be given a disqualification. With this rule being put into effect for the next 4 years up to 2020.
The USGA checks over all rangefinders and the rules, this helps them to check whether these devices conform to the rules.
It is important to take into account that some of the models of rangefinders have the ability to disable this slope feature. Some models even going as far as to completely change the faceplate. The idea behind the feature, was intended so that rule officials could easily check that this feature was disabled during play.
I expect that the best golf rangefinder manufacturers will find a way that will work with the USGA in this area. With many casual golfers not really having a preference as to whether you use your slope feature or not, but ensure that you check with those you are playing with before using this feature.
There is a big debate currently going on about the use of rangefinders within golf, with many golf purists disapproving of the use of these devices. Stating that they give an unfair advantage and are not within the spirit of the game itself. Believing strongly that this technology removes the level of skill that is required to be good at the game.
While many others are in favor of these rangefinders and any other technologies that have been brought to the game. Many of these promoters stating that they think it makes the game more enjoyable and helps to engage those who love technology. It has also been proven to improve the pace of play. With Bushnell & the National University Golf Academy carrying out a study that showed there was a speed up of around 30 minutes with mid handicapped players. Which is over 10% on a typical round of golf.
Golf can be a hard game to get used to, with the courses being longer now, more uneven and with instructions being generally very lousy. I personally think that they are a great addition to an everyday golfer’s bag. If I was a professional player, who was getting in my practice on the Wednesday rounds, I would have no issues not using them during the competition. But, I would make sure I purchased the best one money could possibly get me!
Buying The Best Golf Rangefinder
Which Rangefinder Should I Get, Laser or GPS?
While I have a preference for the GPS models, due to the ability to shoot several targets at once, as well as getting the green. I have put together a chart below which explains the key differences between the two. If you are not quite sure which to purchase, try borrowing one from another player or see how each would work for you.
|Size||Can Be Worn||Can Be Kept Within Your Bag|
|Targets||Limited To Targets Which Are Pre Programmed By The Manufacturer, Working Even With Hidden Targets||Can Target Any Objects That Are Visible|
|Accuracy||Right To The Green||Within 0.5-1 Yard Of Your Selected Target|
What Are The Negatives Of A Laser Rangefinder?
Lasers will require a clear path so that it can travel to your selected target and back. The weather can reduce the speed of the laser, such as rain and fog (since it will be travelling through water), this can cause distortion of the laser and inaccurate readings. Of course, if you are playing within the rain or fog, this is fine due to you not being able to shoot accurately anyway. So, it isn’t really something to worry about and shouldn’t be the reason you don’t purchase one.
There are a number of people who are debating about whether rangefinders either slow or speed up play. If you have a good system in place when you use it, you can actually speed up play.
Do I Need A Device With Slope Technology?
Now that the USGA has come out with a clearer rule about rangefinders, which allows for the use of them without the slope feature enabled, set as a local rule in a tournament. I would recommend that you purchase the best golf rangefinder with slope technology if you play on courses which have a number of elevation changes. I am from the midwest, which means that the courses I play on aren’t particularly hilly, but I still made sure that my rangefinder had the slope feature, for when I went to courses away from home. It isn’t a required feature of course, but if you are looking to spend a good amount of money on one, you should make sure is has it.
This Will Be My First Rangefinder, What Features Should I Be Looking At Before Making A Decision?
If you want to make sure that you are doing it right, you should take a look at all the features to consider before buying:
If you can’t get the right distance number what is the point of having a rangefinder? This is the first thing you should be considering. Luckily, all of the rangefinders which are currently on the market are incredibly accurate.
Realistically what is the further distance that you can shoot reliably? Rangefinders will claim to be able to shoot over a thousand yards, but since the magnification within these devices don’t allow you to see this far, you will be looking to have around 400 yard range. Which is more than enough.
Having the ability to shoot a long range means nothing if you aren’t able to even see your target from where you are stood. Make sure that you have the right magnification so that you are able to see your targets far away. (5x magnification at least!).
Ease Of Use
Any electronic device that you use will have a small learning curve before you are able to use them efficiently. Rangefinders being no different, with the curve being incredibly small, that even someone older (such as grandparents) will be able to grasp within a couple of minutes.
One the most important aspects for many people is the overall price of the unit. With many finding the right amount that is ideal for them. With the lower end rangefinders being really solid units and greatly functional. Whilst if you look at purchasing on the higher end you will be looking for something that is branded or has a high quality build. Not only this, but with a ton of extra features, including slope technology, pin seeking and much more.
This is essentially how long does it take the device to give you a distance? With many rangefinders varying from being able to give you the reading in a few seconds, to some being able to produce the distance almost instantly. With the laser which is found in most of the modern day best golf rangefinder units, they work at light speed (bouncing from your selected target then back to your device) so any time between this is down to the calculation of the distance. Speeds are incredibly fast across the market, so if you are having problems then it is most likely a user issue rather than a processing one.
The main thing you are probably going to ask yourself is, how many rounds can I get in before this thing dies? Well most batteries found inside rangefinders, if not all, will last you a whole season in golf! That’s right, I said it!
You are probably thinking about a ton of questions, like what happens if it comes down heavy with rain or if I drop it into a puddle? Water has always been a huge issue when it comes to electronics, mainly down to when water gets into the metal elements and begins to corrode them. With a plastic and rubber composite which now makes up most of the shells in rangefinders, it has made them a lot more durable. Not only this, but they have become more resistant to any kind of water damage. If you do find yourself playing in rainy conditions on a regular basis, then you will definitely want to consider getting a waterproof best golf rangefinder. With my personal preference being the Bushnell Pro X7 and the Z6 Jolt. The V2-V4 models are not. The GX series that has been produced by Leupold is waterproof, but I still don’t think it is better than the Bushnell Models.
So what happens when you drop your device and it hits a hard surface? You want to ensure that the best golf rangefinder you are purchasing has a durable construction. This way you can prevent having to keep replacing your (new) rangefinder each time you have an accident.
Case & Storage
Having a better case on your best golf rangefinder is vital, it will help to ensure that your investment in the device remains protected. Not only this but a case and storage can ensure that you can access it easily whilst you are moving around the course. This can sometimes be a thought after you purchase, but I strongly think you should consider it before you make your decision.
With laser rangefinders having such a big range but being hindered by the magnification, it can be difficult to lock onto targets that are far away. With a flag that is over 200 yards away, someone with a shaky human hand would find it difficult to target it rather than the trees which are behind it. To ensure that you don’t have this issue, many manufacturers have produced a technology which uses (well I’m not quite sure) to help lock onto the pin much more easily. Bushnell have aptly named their PinSeeker, whilst other brands such a Leupold have called theirs PinHunter.
Slope Measurement Ability
Are you often finding yourself either shooting up or downhill? Then the slope measurement feature will be a great idea for you. With many models being able to give you accurate readings, as it will take the hills into account automatically.
Of course, everybody wants their best golf rangefinder to look amazing, but if your going for looks over functionality you may want to reconsider.
So by now you can probably guess that I am a huge fan of the best golf rangefinder and how they can help to improve your score. They can really help to improve your skills and on course strategy. I personally have never heard anyone who owns one, saying they can do without one.